Champagne (French pronunciation: [ʃɑ̃paɲ]) is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known as the Champagne wine region for the sparkling white wine that bears its name. It was founded in 1065 near the city of Provins and was made up of different counties descended from the early medieval kingdom of Austrasia.
Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area. Most of Champagne is now part of the French administrative region of Champagne-Ardenne, which comprises four departments: Ardennes, Aube, Haute-Marne, and Marne.
In the High Middle Ages, the province was famous for the Champagne Fairs which were very important in the economy of the Western societies. The chivalric romance had its first beginnings in the county of Champagne with the famous writer Chrétien de Troyes who wrote stories of the Round Table from the Arthurian legends.
A few counts of Champagne were French kings and some of them were even Kings of France and of Navarre. Counts of Champagne were highly considered by the French aristocracy.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Champagne.|